Children of the Sun: Matthew, Pok, Steve, Henry, Simon - photo by Tom Vinelott
The intro to "Hurry on Sundown" (which could almost have been written for the saz) is unfortunately missed here, as the MiniDisc recorder wasn't switched on due to our hurried setup.
This set was recorded live at the Exeter Phoenix 18/12/04. Hawkwind were playing there that night, and we were meant to be playing before them in the bar, to entertain the fans with our acoustic renditions of old favourites. Due to unforeseen scheduling changes we ended up playing at the same time as Hawkwind, entertaining the people who couldn't afford to get into the main auditorium (amusingly, reminding us of Hawkwind's own performance outside the '69 Isle of Wight festival).
"Children of the Sun" was our signature tune for the occasion, complete with dodgy balalaika intro. We thought the lyrics were too good to just sing once, so the whole thing got rather extended. Some of the words to "We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago" got mixed up, but then this whole thing was put together with one rehearsal earlier the same day. The vocal distortion may have something to do with having had no soundcheck and using karaoke mics hired at the last minute. Any such difficulties were offset by the presence of Captain Steve who came up from Cornwall to play wooden flute, provide backing vocals and twiddle knobs most expertly throughout.
Pok Spacegoat played bass on "Orgone Accumulator" and "Hassan-i-Sabha". For the rest of the set Sufiboy played bass, Prof. Raphael Appleblossom played saz and/or balalaika, Pok did vocals and played mandola, Henry Drone - the only non-fan amongst us - played reluctant (but supremely competent) percussion.
"The Wizard Blew His Horn" was a completely spontaneous bit of madness. To fill in the gap whilst Prof. Appleblossom detuned his saz for "Hassan-i-Sabha", our friend Banana Tom was provided with the words to this, which he performed flambuoyantly in full shamanic ridiculousness (a bit of a Nik Turner moment).
Our toy xylophone came in handy for "Hassan". Sufiboy played a dilruba during the intro, but had to give up on it before long due to feedback problems.
This set was intended as a bit of a one-off, to celebrate the near-simultaneous coming of Hawkwind and the winter solstice. Normally most of us (minus Pok and Steve) play in a spaced-out improvisational collective called Children of the Drone.